Homosexuals have now conquered the target-rich environment the military is for them, and the Marines, the most macho and gung-ho of the services, seem to have taken the mission to integrate homosexuals as seriously as the landing at Peleliu in 1944.
The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at the center Tuesday morning.
Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.
The recruiters stressed to the local homosexuals that the Marines are “family,” and that the bad old days, when homosexuals had to keep their mouths shut, are over.
The Times recorded the scene at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, quoting Master Sgt. Anthony Henry: “It’s your business and you don’t have to share it,” Henry told a lesbian possibility. She had inquired whether she might “face discrimination,” as the Times’ enlightened scribe put it. No way, Henry averred. In fact, said he, “you’re also free to be at the mall with your girlfriend.”
Happily, for the Marines who think President Obama is out of his mind in pushing to permit the homosexualization of the military, it doesn’t appear as if homosexuals are flocking to the Corps in droves. “... [J]udging by the traffic at the gay rights center on Tuesday,” the Times reported, “there will not be an immediate flood of gay and lesbian Marine applicants.”
By 3 p.m., more than four hours after the Marines had set up their booth opposite the center’s AIDS quilt, only three women had wandered in, none ideal recruits. The local television crews who had come to watch the action — or inaction, as it turned out — easily outnumbered them.
Military Machismo Nearly Gone
The end of the ban on homosexuals openly serving the military has been coming for some time, and likely began with the integration of women into forward ground units near combat and the placement of women in combat jets and on ships.
Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, who ran the service during the Reagan administration, pondered whether “Naval aviation culture is dead” for the latest issue of Proceedings, the journal of the U.S. Naval Institute. Lehman said the beginning of the end was the infamous “Tailhook” scandal in 1991, when naval aviators walked the plank for their rowdy and unbecoming behavior during the group's annual convention with some women officers who egged them on. The alcohol flowed; the party got wild; the women had regrets. Heads rolled.
Wrote Lehman, “1991 marked the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War. But as naval aviation shared in this triumph, the year also marked the start of tragedy.”
The Tailhook Convention that took place in September that year began a scandal with a negative impact on naval aviation that continues to this day. The over-the-top parties of combat aviators were overlooked during the Vietnam War but had become accidents waiting to happen in the postwar era.
Whatever the facts of what took place there, it set off investigations within the Navy, the Department of Defense, the Senate, and the House that were beyond anything since the investigations and hearings regarding the Pearl Harbor attack. Part of what motivated this grotesquely disproportionate witch hunt was pure partisan politics and the deep frustration of Navy critics (and some envious begrudgers within the Navy) of the glamorous treatment accorded to the Navy and its aviators in Hollywood and the media, epitomized by the movie Top Gun. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee investigation, declared that her mission was to “break the culture” of naval aviation. One can make the case that she succeeded.
Lehman argued that the Navy began a “witch hunt” to stop heavy drinking among aviators, seeking its “deglamorization.” But alcohol “was absolutely not a problem for naval aviation as a whole. There was no evidence that there were any more aviators with an alcohol problem than there were in the civilian population, and probably a good deal fewer,” wrote the former A-6 Intruder pilot.
Lehman also charged the military with “turning warriors in to bureaucrats” by creating a massive complex of office workers at the Pentagon, and as well punishing mistakes with “zero tolerance.”
“One strike, one mistake, one DUI, and you are out,” Lehman wrote, noting that great leaders of the past such as Adm. Chester Nimitz never would have risen through the ranks because he once ran a squadron of destoyers aground. “By nature, these kinds of war-winning leaders make mistakes when they are young and need guidance — and often protection from the system.” He continued,
Today, alas, there is much evidence that this critical mass of such leaders is being lost. Chester Nimitz put his whole squadron of destroyers on the rocks by making mistakes. But while being put in purgatory for a while, he was protected by those seniors who recognized a potential great leader. In today’s Navy, Nimitz would be gone. Any seniors trying to protect him would themselves be accused of a career-ending cover-up.
Because the best aviators are calculated risk-takers, they have always been particularly vulnerable to the system. But now in the age of political correctness and zero-tolerance, they are becoming an endangered species.
Today, a young officer with the right stuff is faced on commissioning with making a ten-year commitment if he or she wants to fly, which weeds out some with the best potential. Then after winging and an operational squadron tour, they know well the frustrations outlined here. They have seen many of their role models bounced out of the Navy for the bad luck of being breathalyzed after two beers, or allowing risqué forecastle follies.
Lehman is worried about the Navy’s future: “As the aviator culture fades from the Navy, what is being lost? Great naval leaders have and will come from each of the communities, and have absorbed virtues from all of them.”
Those attributes of naval aviators — willingness to take intelligent calculated risk, self-confidence, even a certain swagger — that are invaluable in wartime are the very ones that make them particularly vulnerable in today’s zero-tolerance Navy. The political correctness thought police, like Inspector Javert in Les Misérables, are out to get them and are relentless.
Women and Homosexuals
Lehman’s critique regardless, the emasculation of the armed forces, his obvious if unspoken complaint, can be traced to the increasing number of women in the service who may not be offended in any way, apropos of the Tailhook massacre of pilots at the behest of Navy women who lied about what happen.
Adding homosexuals, critics say, won’t help matters. Elaine Donnelly, who runs the Center for Military Readiness, explained the damage that will occur back in 2008 during a hearing before a congressional committee:
The new policy will be forced cohabitation with homosexuals, 24/7, in all military communities, including Army and Marine infantry battalions, Special Operations Forces, Navy SEALS, and all the ships at sea, including submarines. This would be tantamount to forcing female soldiers to cohabit with men in intimate quarters, 24/7, with no recourse but to leave or avoid the military altogether.
As well, she testified, homosexuals will get special rights, incidents of sexual misconduct will increase, obviously, and “valuable training time will be diverted to 'diversity' training reflecting the attitudes of civilian gay activist groups. This training will attempt to overcome the normal human desire for modesty and privacy in sexual matters –— a quest that is inappropriate for the military and unlikely to succeed.”
Any complaints about inappropriate passive/aggressive actions conveying a homosexual message or approach, short of physical touching and assault, will be met with career-killing presumptions about the motives of the person who complains: bigotry, homophobia, racism, or worse. As a result, untold thousands of people [will] leave or avoid the all-volunteer force.
Of Tuesday’s move, she said, “This is not a legitimate victory for anyone; it is being imposed on the armed forces to deliver on President Barack Obama's political promises to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activist groups.”
The high-powered campaign for gays in the military was fueled by sophistry, administration-coordinated deception, faux “research” from LGBT activists, and misuse of the military’s own culture of obedience.
Photo: U.S. Marine unit in Baghdad.